For the first time in my life, I have been given the opportunity to transform a room into a personal library. Instead of bookcases here, there and everywhere (arguably, not a bad thing), my many books will share a single cosy, easily browsed home.
When offered this chance, my first thought was “what have I done to deserve this?” and my second was to wonder what the perfect home library should have apart from, well, books. After some research and reminiscence, here’s the list I came up with:
Ladders on Rails
Having spent a few years working in a store in the US that has these, my love affair with library ladders has been cemented. They are practical, yes, but they are also just so, very, very charming.
A Spiral Staircase
Henry Higgins had one so…why not me? It would be a perfect spot for off-the-cuff singing and elocution.
A Secret Passage
I’m not certain that Young Frankenstein was what made me obsessed with secret passages as a child, all I know is that discovering the fact that pulling up the bottom board of a cubbyhole in my room allowed me to crawl into the closet of the next room over was a significant moment. Also, the whole pull-out-the-right-book-(or candle)-and-the-bookcase-swings-open gag is a classic that deserves entry in any great library.
A Window Seat
I’ve always associated window seats with avid reading, probably because I grew up using bookplates that sported the image ‘Picture-Books in Winter’ by Jessie Willcox Smith from A Child’s Garden of Verses (see below).
A Leather Easy Chair
I imagine it looking something like this:
Obviously, the burgundy smoking jacket and beard are also a must. They just go with the chair.
And a Cosy Sleeping Spot for The Dog
Because no matter how sad and bookish she tries to look, she’s definitely not allowed on the leather easy chair.